First District Supervisor Salud Carbajal is hosting a community meeting with representatives from the County, other government agencies, and community partners to discuss the increase of excessive oil on Summerland Beach and the measures being taken to address this issue.
Recently, Summerland Beach was closed due to increased amounts of oily substances and strong odors at the beach that elevated risks to the public’s health. The public is invited to a community meeting to learn more about this situation, what actions are underway to address it and for experts to answer questions from the community.
The meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, September 15, 2015 from 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm at Summerland Presbyterian Church, 2400 Lillie Ave., Summerland.
“There are a number of factors contributing to the oil currently impacting Summerland beach. I welcome and encourage Summerland residents to attend this community meeting to learn more about the underlying causes and response efforts underway to address this on-going public health issue” said Supervisor Carbajal.
Experts on hand at the meeting will include representatives from the State Lands Commission, Santa Barbara County Public Health Department, the Air Pollution Control District, and Heal the Ocean. As part of the agenda, the State Lands Commission and Heal the Ocean will provide updates on the effort to cap the abandoned Becker Oil Well.
Additional questions that will be addressed include:
• Who should we call if we observe uncommon amounts of oil or odors at the beach?
• What are the criteria for beach closure or warning?
• What testing is done, when is it done and what does it tell us?
• How can people clean up if they get oil on themselves or their animals?
• What is the history of oil drilling in the area?
• What is the State Lands grant and process to specifically map/locate and correct the wells?
• What is the next step in the process?
• What are air quality issues/concerns?
• When are air quality tests done?
• What should we do if we smell exceptionally strong odors?
As a precaution, the County Public Health Department advises that it is important to avoid contact with any oil that may be present on the beach in various forms and remember that oil related chemicals can increase risks of short-terms health impacts (e.g. headaches, dizziness, nausea and skin irritation) as well as long-term health impacts (e.g. cancer, liver and kidney damage.)
The public is encouraged to attend the community meeting to learn more and ask questions. For more information on the community meeting, please contact (805) 568-2186.